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Does Your Office Need an Aquarium?

Topics: Work Culture

When it comes to employee retention, productivity, and happiness, company culture matters. For this reason, some businesses are seeking innovative ways to bring out the best in their workers by making changes to the office environment. For example, some companies have tried installing climbing walls to help employees reach new heights. But, now a new trend may be on the horizon — the office aquarium.

Here’s why you should root for your office to get an aquarium:

Image Credit: Marius Masalar/Unsplash
  1. Aquariums seem to be a rising trend in landlocked Kansas City (for good reasons).

Diane Stafford of The Kansas City Star recently wrote a piece about aquariums in the office. She noted that something of “a wave” is sweeping the greater Kansas City area. Many local businesses have taken to installing aquariums for the benefit of both workers and customers. Word is that the positive rewards are outweighing the costs. And, there may be more to that payoff than is immediately obvious. Aquariums aren’t just pretty to look at.

  1. They help provide a calm and relaxing work environment for customers/patients.

Aquariums are more than just decorations; they may actually change the way customers or patients experience the office. James Stuckmeyer, an orthopedic surgeon from Kansas City, told Stafford that he’d read a few years ago that watching fish swim can lower blood pressure. He’s had aquariums in the office ever since.

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“I do independent medical evaluations,” Stuckmeyer told Stafford, “and the people involved in work injury and work compensation cases have generally had their lives turned upside down. They may be in bad shape financially or physically, and I didn’t want them to see a sterile doctor’s office.”

  1. Aquariums also help employees stay calm and relaxed.

What’s your view like right now? Unless you’re lucky enough to have scored a seat near the window, it might be a blank wall or the back of a coworker’s head. Looking at fishies calmly floating through water is obviously preferable.

It also might boost productivity over the long term. Our ability to focus improves when we reduce our stress, and this ultimately makes us more productive. So, while these aquariums do come at a cost, there are numerous benefits to employees as well as customers. That’s sure to add to the bottom line.

  1. They impact company culture.

Sometimes, subtle things can have a much bigger impact on us than we might think. According to fans of this aquatic trend, another benefit to these aquariums is how they affect office culture.

Being in a beautiful space can improve our mood, especially when nature is involved. This is part of the reason why so many people like to keep plants in their offices. An improved work atmosphere could lead to smoother collaboration or even increased employee retention.

Seeing all those fish living together in harmony might also provide a model for work teams to follow.

“Each tank is a community,” Jason Gray, a worker at Service Management Group in Kansas City who takes on some care responsibilities for the aquariums in his office told Stafford,”…as long as the right fish are introduced.”

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think your office would benefit from an aquarium? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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